Barron River King Billy Pine Australian Blackwood Soprano

Barron River King Billy Pine Australian Blackwood Soprano

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Barron River ukuleles are made by Allen McFarlen in Cairns, Australia. This soprano has full, warm tone and super easy playability. We are truly impressed with the sound and feel!

This ukulele was made in June 2015 and the person that ordered it had to pass it along but wanted us to get it so we could show the tone and quality of Barron River to our customers around the world. This truly is an incredible soprano ukulele and it's our pleasure to discover Allen's skill and the musicality of his work.

Take a listen to a "dry" sound sample from Corey Fujimoto and read more about it's features below.

Our sound samples are recorded for true reference and have no alteration or enhancement. Use quality playback for the most accurate listening.

This instrument features a Huon Pine top. You may not have heard of this wood before because it is rare but here's some info from Guitar Bench Magazine on this tone wood:

Natural History

Huon Pine is a conifer which ranges to the wet south-western corner of Tasmania. It is often found along rivers and is the sole species in Lagarostrobos.

Huon pine is slow growing and long lived with some trees over 2 centuries old. It reaches up to 30 m high and has arching branches with spirally arranged leaves.

On Mount Read, North Western Tasmania, a stand of trees, each genetically identical has been estimated to be over 10 centuries old.


Trees were heavily logged in the 20th century for their fine timber. Given the trees’ slow growth, this has led to remaining stands covering less than 105 square kilometers. The remaining stands of this species of tree now has protected status within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Site.

Physical properties

Huon pine has a Golden Yellow hue with fine grain and aromatic rot resistant oils. The oils contain methyl eugenol which is responsible for the timber’s unique smell and resistance to rot.

As a tonewood…

It is softer and heavier than spruce, requiring a fine balancing act in terms of thickness for strength yet thinness for weight.

Australian Luthier, Scott Wise has had good results with Huon and says:

“Steel string guitars with smaller bodies tend to sound bigger in this wood. I first used it experimentally in the early 1980s and have had repeat orders based on the sound of those early guitars.”

….I would broadly characterize the tone of Huon Pine as restrained but with tremendous sustain and great richness and depth in the overtone content over all ranges. It has very similar qualities to New Zealand Kauri in terms of headroom and response.


As a protected species, Huon Pine is no longer commercially harvested and is only rarely available.

The back and sides are made of Tasmanian blackwood, an acacia wood species that’s a close cousin of Hawaiian koa. 

It has a a fairly slim neck profile with low action and great playability. Other features include 14 frets to the body, which is rare for a soprano, a unique art deco rosette, pin bridge, and headstock design. It also sports the classy Peghed 4:1 ratio vintage styled gear tuners. 

Includes a canvas covered hard case and Herco humidifier. Both are upgradable in the options.

Additional Information
  • King Billy Pine soundboard
  • Australian Blackwood body
  • Australian Blackwood bindings fretboard
  • Ringed Gidgee bridge, fretboard, and headstock overlay
  • Bone nut and saddle
  • Gloss polyurethane lacquer finish (lite-gloss)
  • Koa art deco rosette
  • Tas Blackwood art deco pin bridge extension
  • 13.3/4" scale length
  • 1.3/8" nut

This is ukulele comes with a UkeCrazy canvas-covered hardcase. You can upgrade to the Kanile'a wooden hardcase in the options below.  Both the included UkeCrazy case, as well as the optional Kanile'a case can be seen in our Cases category under the Accessories tab at the top of this page.

Extra Options

One of the options for this ukulele is to trade out the Herco HE-360 included humidifier for the more expensive Oasis Ukulele Humidifier (OH-18) at a discount. This is required if you live in a low humidity area (parts of California, Nevada, Arizona, etc.) or also areas with winter seasons, especially if you heat the air in your home. For more info refer to the Ukulele Care link at the bottom of this page. If you think you need to humidify the instrument, then you also need a hard case for a humidifier to properly work, and you need to maintain the humidifier by refilling it as needed. 

After adding this instrument to your cart, you can still create your own package by adding a case or accessories from the website.

Under the Accessories tab you can also customize this instrument by adding strap button(s) or your choice of pickup for plugging in. We recommend either the MiSi or the LR Baggs pickup for this ukulele.  

This qualifies for free shipping (USPS Express International or FedEX 2 day within the USA). Two days is the time in transit. Your instrument will first go through our setup department so that you get the best instrument for your money. For more information on our setup process, turnaround time, shipping, and return policies, refer to the links below in our footer.

Put a note in the Special Instructions if you need to or would like to let our setup or shipping department know anything. 


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